Progressive Dinner

On today’s blog, we’re doing something slightly different.

Eric and Mike recently took part in a progressive dinner where chocolate was the key ingredient. Basically, a progressive dinner is where you have each course of a dinner at a different location. For the recent progressive dinner, The three couples involved – the Harbeson’s, McHenry’s, and Brobst’s – all met at Quip’s in Lancaster to celebrate Marah Harbeson’s birthday (she was recently featured on our site, her website is TheRedVelvetBlog.com).

While celebrating, we all picked who was going to do what (appetizer, entree, dessert). The Harbeson’s drew appetizer, the McHenry’s drew entree, and the Brobst’s drew dessert.

The following is the Brobst recipe for Chocolate Whiskey Bundt Cake, with help from Epicurious (and of course Eric should give the majority of the credit to his wife!):

  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process) plus 3 tablespoons for dusting pan
  • 1 1/2 cups brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup American whiskey (the original called for American, I used Jameson.)
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Special equipment: a 10-inch bundt pan (3 1/4 inches deep; 3-qt capacity)
  • Accompaniment: lightly sweetened whipped cream
  • Garnish: confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Butter bundt pan well, then dust with 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, knocking out excess. 

Heat coffee, whiskey, butter, and remaining cup cocoa powder in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, whisking, until butter is melted.

Remove from heat, then add sugar and whisk until dissolved, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and cool 5 minutes.

While chocolate mixture cools, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together eggs and vanilla in a small bowl, then whisk into cooled chocolate mixture until combined well.

Add chocolate to flour mixture and whisk until just combined (batter will be thin and bubbly).

Pour batter into bundt pan and bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes.

Cool cake completely in pan on a rack, about 2 hours.

Loosen cake from pan using tip of a dinner knife, then invert rack over pan and turn cake out onto rack.

Enjoy with fresh berries and French Vanilla Ice Cream!

The whole progressive dinner/dinner club is LOADS of fun. It works best if you live close to a group of friends that way you don’t have to go far. Even better would be if you’re within walking distance. If you have any questions about progressive dinners, let me know and I’ll explain the concept and how we did it.


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